Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley (2015)
Fiction | Sci-Fi
“Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.
When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus. Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.
As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?”
pooled ink Review:
Nicholas Conley writes an intriguing medical thriller. Gabriel Schist is a highly acclaimed Nobel Prize-winning genius who has gained great fame and respect for inventing the Schist vaccine that managed to stop a horrible epidemic from decimating further. Well, another devastating virus has arisen so it’s unsurprising when the world’s most brilliant finds himself curious to solve it. Encouraged by an unusual character, Schist knows that he’s probably the only one who can find a cure but the crushing weight of that responsibility is made even more so by one little fact, he has Alzheimer’s. The brilliant mind that he is known for, that is all he is, is slowly fading away.
Schist must find a cure but he’s racing against the clock. Will the disease surge beyond hope before he can stop it? Will his mind go before he can find a cure? This book really takes an insightful look into the responsibility of genius and the life-altering reality that Alzheimer’s brings. Even without the great task of saving lives, being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is enough to cause emotional turmoil within someone.
On top of the highly scientific plot and the challenging story of a personal struggle there is also a fantasy twist. So while things may start out somewhat straightforward, twists and surprises inject added interest into this book on top of the adrenaline-charged race against time.
Schist is not alone throughout all of this, however. There are patients he meets, people who love him and know his past. Despite his frustrations and anger that flare, these people help him continue moving forwards and learn to embrace who he was, is, and may become.
Pale Highway is a medical thriller with fantasy twists. Taking a scientific genius and pitting him against a merciless disease as well as his own fading mind, this book races against time and reason. Suspenseful, reflective, insightful, mysterious, and emotional, this story takes quite the remarkable and unexpected journey.
Purchase here: Pale Highway
Meet Nicholas Conley!
Nicholas Conley is a novelist, world traveler, playwright, and coffee vigilante. His passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books, and horror movies. His award-winning novel Pale Highway was influenced by his real life experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, and his work in healthcare also inspired his essays for Vox and The Huffington Post, as well as his radio play Something in the Nothing, which was performed live on WSCA 106.1 FM in 2016.
In order to better establish himself on the planet Earth, Nicholas has currently made his home in New Hampshire.